United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
V. HODGES, Magistrate Judge.
Johnson ("Petitioner"), proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, is an inmate incarcerated in the Palmer
Pre-Release Center in the custody of the South Carolina
Department of Corrections ("SCDC"). He submitted
this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Â§ 2241. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b) and
Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the undersigned is
authorized to review such petitions for relief and submit
findings and recommendations to the district judge. For the
reasons that follow, the undersigned recommends that the
district judge dismiss the petition in this case without
Factual and Procedural Background
alleges he did not receive a credit for the seven months he
served in jail. [ECF No. 1]. Petitioner states he did not
file a grievance or appeal regarding this sentencing
calculation error. Id. at 6. Instead, Petitioner
claims he "conferred with SCDC state classification and
various other personnel in an effort to remedy" the
failure to give him sentencing credit, but "no decision
was made." Id. Petitioner requests the court
give him a seven-month sentencing credit. Id. at 9.
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of this petition pursuant to the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings for the United
States District Court,  the Anti-Terrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110
Stat. 1214, and other habeas corpus statutes. Pro se
complaints are held to a less stringent standard than those
drafted by attorneys. Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d
1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). A federal court is charged with
liberally construing a complaint filed by a pro se litigant
to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
evaluating a pro se complaint, the plaintiff's
allegations are assumed to be true. Fine v. City of
N.Y., 529 F.2d 70, 74 (2d Cir. 1975). The mandated
liberal construction afforded to pro se pleadings means that
if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a
valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should
do so. Nevertheless, the requirement of liberal construction
does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in
the pleading to allege facts that set forth a claim currently
cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir.
prisoner seeking habeas relief through 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2241 must
first exhaust his state court remedies. Although the
exhaustion provisions codified under Â§ 2254 are not contained
in Â§ 2241, the exhaustion requirement "applies to all
habeas corpus actions." Fain v. Duff, 488 F.2d
218, 223 (5th Cir. 1973); see Braden v. 30th
Judicial Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490 (1973)
(applying exhaustion requirement in 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2241 habeas
corpus proceeding). This doctrine, based on principles of
comity, requires that, before a federal court will review
allegations of constitutional violations by a state prisoner,
those allegations must first be presented to the state's
highest court for consideration. See Picard v.
Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1976).
Carolina law provides, as to certain prison administrative
decisions that affect an inmate's sentence, that an
inmate may seek review of an SCDC decision from the South
Carolina Administrative Law Court ("SCALC").
See Al-Shabazz v. State, 527 S.E.2d 742,
750 (S.C. 2000); see also Slezak v. S.C.
Dep't of Corr., 605 S.E.2d 506, 507 (S.C. 2004).
These administrative decisions include inmate discipline and
punishment, the calculation of an inmate's sentence or
sentence-related credits, or an inmate's custody status.
Sullivan v. S.C. Dep't of Corr., 586 S.E.2d 124,
126 (S.C. 2003); Al- Shabazz, 527 S.E.2d at
750. Under Al-Shabazz, a petitioner is required to
initiate a grievance with SCDC, obtain a final decision, seek
review by the SCALC, and then seek judicial review by the
South Carolina Court of Appeals before seeking federal habeas
review. Al- Shabazz, 527 S.E.2d at 752-57
(discussing the application of the Administrative Procedures
Act and the review process); Rule 203(b)(6), SCACR; see
also S.C. Code Ann. Â§ 1-23-610(A)(1).
has not shown he exhausted the remedies available to him
under state law with respect to his habeas claim. In fact,
Petitioner admits he has not pursued any of his
administrative and state remedies related to the grounds in
his habeas petition. [ECF No. 1 at 6-7]. Because Petitioner
has not exhausted his state court remedies, this petition
should be summarily dismissed.
Conclusion and Recommendation
the undersigned recommends that the district judge dismiss
the petition in the ...